As trainers, one of the questions we get most frequently from coaches is “what workout should my team do?” Many coaches and trainers are looking for “the perfect workout” for their athletes. Over years of learning as coaches and trainers, we have not found one; we have never encountered a single exact way to teach a group of athletes on a team.
Every athlete has a different history, strengths, weaknesses and favorite exercises. Therefore, each individual athlete should undergo a physical evaluation. The teams we work with have small workout facilities, and they share them with other teams from their schools. Available equipment and time schedule are the first two questions we pose to the coaches.
The best way to start a weightlifting program for a team is to prescribe physical evaluations of the athletes prior to participation. A few questions should be answered by the athletes and their parents. We use the following template, although we encourage each coach to do to a personal questionaire and physical exam.
We use the following questionnaire to get a basic understanding of each athlete. It’s a great template, but I encourage coaches to create their own templates to suit their needs.
- Name – Address – Phone – Parents’ Names
- Medical History (surgery, injury, other)
- Training History (does the athlete have a personal coach?)
- Other sports (some kids play summer baseball)
- Position (position-specific training may be applicable)
Physical evaluations are overseen by the coaching staff. Coaches can customize the battery of physical tests to suit their sport. We use the chart below for softball pitchers. If we were working with a volleyball team, we would substitute Vertical Jump for Grip Test.
The tests help us identify each athlete’s strengths and weaknesses so we can create a training program that addresses their needs with exercises that are appropriate for their ability level.
||Hold 20-pound Dumbbell (each hand)
||10 Each Side
||Increase from first jump
||Balance / Maintain Heel Contact & Back Posture